Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusivement à l’attention des media. Document non officiel)
The Hague, 14 December 2001
PROVISIONAL RELEASE GRANTED TO SEFER HALILOVIC
On Thursday 13 December, Trial Chamber III, presided over by Judge Richard May and comprising Judge Patrick Robinson and Judge 0-Gon Kwon, issued a written Order granting Sefer Halilovic’s request for provisional release and ordering his immediate release.
The accused was released on Friday 14 December.
The Chamber’s Order follows a request filed by the accused on 28 November 2001, and a Response dated 6 December 2001 by the Prosecutor, who did not raise objections provided that the accused provides certain guarantees and undertakings. Guarantees and undertakings were provided by the Accused, both on his own behalf and through the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, "to the satisfaction of the Trial Chamber".
To grant the provisional release, the Chamber also considered that "the Accused voluntarily surrendered to the Tribunal" and it was "satisfied that the Accused will appear for trial and…will not pose a danger to any victim witness or other person".
Finally, the Order sets out a number of terms and conditions that the Accused has to comply
with during his provisional release, and specifies that he "shall be immediately detained should he breach" them.
Sefer Halilovic surrendered voluntarily to the Tribunal on 25 September 2001 (see Press Release 622) and entered a plea of not-guilty during his initial appearance on 27 September.
The indictment was originally transmitted and filed by the Prosecutor on 30 July 2001. It was modified and supplemented on 10 September 2001, and confirmed by Judge Wald on 12 September 2001. The indictment remained under seal until the detention of Sefer Halilovic.
According to the indictment, Sefer Halilovic held the post of Deputy Commander of the Supreme Command Staff of the ABiH as well as Chief of the Supreme Command Staff of the ABiH from 18 July 1993 to until November 1993. From 21 August 1993, Sefer Halilovic was Head of an Inspection Team to command and co-ordinate the "NERETVA-93" operation and as such Halilovic was the most senior
military commander for the operation. The main purpose of the "NERETVA-93" operation was to capture territory held by the Bosnian Croat Forces ("HVO") from Bugojno to Mostar by launching offensives within this area and thereby ending the blockade of Mostar.
It is alleged that, notwithstanding his duties as a commander, Sefer Halilovic did not take effective measures to prevent killings of civilians in Grabovica and did not take steps to carry out a proper investigation to identify the perpetrators of the killings in both Grabovica and Uzdol and as commander of the operation to punish them accordingly. Further, Sefer Halilovic planned
and was instrumental in the implementation of military operations carried out by the units which took part in the "NERETVA-93" operation.
The indictment charges the accused on the basis of superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal) with Violations of the laws and customs of war (Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal - murder).